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Sino-InSpace: A Digital Simulation Platform for Virtual Space Environments

Zhengzhou Institute of Surveying and Mapping, Zhengzhou 450052, China
Science and Technology on Information System Engineering Laboratory, Nanjing Research Institute of Electronics Engineering, Nanjing 210007, China
Collaborative Innovation Center of Geo-Information Technology for Smart Central Plains, Zhengzhou 450001, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(9), 373;
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 8 September 2018
PDF [9075 KB, uploaded 8 September 2018]


The implementation of increased space exploration missions reduces the distance between human beings and outer space. Although it is impossible for everyone to enter the remote outer space, virtual environments could provide computer-based digital spaces that we can observe, participate in, and experience. In this study, Sino-InSpace, a digital simulation platform, was developed to support the construction of virtual space environments. The input data are divided into two types, the environment element and the entity object, that are then supported by the unified time-space datum. The platform adopted the pyramid model and octree index to preprocess the geographic and space environment data, which ensured the efficiency of data loading and browsing. To describe objects perfectly, they were abstracted and modeled based on four aspects including attributes, ephemeris, geometry, and behavior. Then, the platform performed the organization of a visual scenario based on logical modeling and data modeling; in addition, it ensured smooth and flexible visual scenario displays using efficient data and rendering engines. Multilevel modes (application directly, visualization development, and scientific analysis) were designed to support multilevel applications for users from different grades and fields. Each mode provided representative case studies, which also demonstrated the capabilities of the platform for data integration, visualization, process deduction, and auxiliary analysis. Finally, a user study with human participants was conducted from multiple views (usability, user acceptance, presence, and software design). The results indicate that Sino-InSpace performs well in simulation for virtual space environments, while a virtual reality setup is beneficial for promoting the experience. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual space environments; Sino-InSpace; simulation platform; visualization scenario; multilevel application; user evaluation virtual space environments; Sino-InSpace; simulation platform; visualization scenario; multilevel application; user evaluation

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Lyu, L.; Xu, Q.; Lan, C.; Shi, Q.; Lu, W.; Zhou, Y.; Zhao, Y. Sino-InSpace: A Digital Simulation Platform for Virtual Space Environments. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 373.

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